Islamic State collected US$500,000 through abduction in Diyala: Official

A displaced woman from the minority Yazidi sect, who was kidnapped by Islamic State militants of Tal Afar but managed to flee, holds a child in Duhok province, northern Iraq, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

Diyala ( Islamic State has obtained around US$500,000 through abduction operations in Diyala in 2017, a paramilitary official was quoted saying on Tuesday.

Speaking to AlSumaria News, Jabbar al-Maamouri, leader with al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said “IS militants launched a series of attacks at some regions in Diyala in 2017 through its sleeper cells in Hamreen, Qurret Tabbah and Neft Khana. The group obtained amounts of money that reach up to around US$500,000, in accordance to information we have.”

“The abduction has turned to an internal source of funding for the group, which collected the money to reinforce its sleeper cells. This indicates the activity in some regions including Hamreen, which are encountered by security troops,” Maamouri added.

The abduction processes, according to Maamouri, usually occur without the relatives of the kidnapped file reports against the kidnappers. “They pay huge amounts of money, which is wrong as this would support terrorism and encourages more abduction.”

Earlier on the day, PMFs killed several IS members after destroying two vehicles loaded with weapons for the militants in Hamreen mountains. On Monday, two IS members were killed as the forces carried out a wide- scale campaign there in the region.

In October, Iraqi army’s ninth armored division and PMFs announced imposing full control on Hamreen mountains, northeastern Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, earlier this month, full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.

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